The numbers back up the perception that the New York Giants offensive line not only appears bad but is playing downright poorly. The constant pressure and hits on quarterback Eli Manning a major factor in their disappointing 0-2 start to the season.
There is no denying that the Giants offensive line has underwhelmed or on the flip side, perhaps it has lived up to expectations.
This is a unit that was among the worst in the league a year ago and received no major upgrades this past offseason as Giants management largely ignored the pressing issue in free agency and then the NFL Draft.
So maybe it hasn’t underwhelmed. Maybe it has simply whelmed.
Maybe it is living up to what it should be and that is a simply subpar unit.
Failure to upgrade the offensive line has been a theme for the Giants for over two years now, including using first round picks on a cornerback last year and a tight end this past April.
Neither pick was bad or poor, but they didn’t address glaring needs along the line.
And five sacks of Manning on Monday night in a 24-10 loss to the Detroit Lions underscores the pressing issues surrounding pass protection. An issue that data obtained from Pro Football Focus backs up.
“Through Week 2 of the NFL season the Giants highly scrutinized offensive line ranks 27th in pass blocking efficiency, surrendering pressure on 30.1 percent of dropbacks,” said Pro Football Focus analyst Ryan Smith. “Left tackle Ereck Flowers has given up four sacks, the second most among [offensive tackles] in the NFL.”
Those are scary numbers. Scary bad numbers.
Flowers has drawn the brunt of the criticism to date, with Pro Football Focus giving him a 47.3 grade for Monday night in a game in which he conceded three sacks and a pressure.
According to Pro Football Focus, largely considered the best analytics site covering the NFL, Flowers was graded No. 43 out of 62 eligible tackles.
The Giants as a whole, in numbers obtained from PFF, had a ‘Pass Blocking Efficiency’ rank of No. 27 in the league based on Week 2. They allowed 14 pressures on 37 dropbacks or passing downs.
A look at PFF’s grades for the Giants starting offensive line:
LT: Ereck Flowers: 47.3
LG Brett Jones: 42.5
C Weston Richburg: 55.3
RG: John Jerry: 80.1
RT Justin Pugh: 53.4
Of particular note, Pugh’s grade was dragged down significantly by a run block grade of 37.7 in the Lions game.